Trauer always talked about death.
It was no surprise, after all, he dressed like an undertaker. Maybe there was a connection between FarAwayDowns and his fascination with death. He told me about his time in the military. He refused to tell me which country, ideology or faction he had fought for.
“It is in the interest of our friendship.” he clarified his reluctance once.
He told me how he would never fear running into burning buildings, clearing sniper nests and tip-toeing through mine fields. He told me it wasn’t about bravery (he even claimed there was no such thing). “It’s about death, the will to embrace it, my quest for it.” he whispered as we strolled from Jubilation Avenue to my clinic.
“I’ve fathomed its appeal all my life, every moment of it. It is the reason I joined the military. It is the reason I crossed the desert west of the Old Republic with only a back pack. It is partly the reason why I am here in this forsaken city.” he continued.
“What happened to you? Did you lose someone dear to you during your childhood?” I asked.
“No, my parents are still alive and well.” he replied as he combed his graying temples with his fingers.
“ANYONE dear?” I stressed.
“No one in particular. At least not like that.”
I asked him to clarify but he changed the subject.
“Dear Doctor, I have been meaning to show you something. I mean, I want a thorough examination.”
“Well it did strike me as a bit strange at first. No one thinks of routine health check ups around here.” I answered.
“It’s a norm where I come from, not that I ever had my self checked in case you’re wondering.” he held my hand tightly. A gesture I couldn’t quite place. I’d known him only for a week. Was it trust, affection or something from the sub-conscience?
Trauer was on my examination table and I had finished my exam. Just when I was about to give him my assessment, I wondered about his fantasies about death. What was the nature of his interest in death? I had taken a look at his body. Just a few scars which could be explained by land mines exploding in the background. I raised his sleeves to give his wrists another look. The things I was looking for were hesitation marks, a very good indicator of suicidal behavior.
As it turned out, he had none.
I kept quiet for sometime. Trauer had to break the silence,” What did the exam tell you doc?”
I coughed nervously. His fascination with death was now something officially weird. Death fantasy with out suicidal tendencies?
“Well?” he insisted.
“I am not sure but I think I felt a mass in your abdominal area. You said you were having no change in bowl habits, no constipation or fever, didn’t you.” I asked as I wrote my notes.
“Yes. Nothing. It’s just that I am not feeling very hungry recently.” he said as he childlishly swung his feet hanging by the examination table.
I jumped up from my seat, “What about weight loss?”
“Yes, a bit of that too.” he asked, surprised, with a I-don’t-like-where-this-is-going stare.
“Waist size, any changes?”
“Come to think of it, My waist size has dropped from 36 to 30 in the last month.”
“No, maybe it’s this city.”
It wasn’t the city. It was something inside him. I had to run tests to come back before I could tell it to him.
“So? What’s the verdict.” he asked as he buttoned his shirt.
“You’re not suicidal, that’s a relief, but there might be something in your abdomen. I’ll have to run a few tests.” I answered.
“Who ever said anything about suicide? The whole concept of taking ones own life is abhorrent. I was just fascinated with death not dying.”
The revelation was as strange as the man sitting on the table.
The revelation that I had for him might make his wish come true.